Nice guy syndrome

From Academic Kids

"Nice Guy Syndrome" is a folk psychology term describing an adult male who seeks intimacy but only finds cordial friendship and platonic love. The term originates from a platitude often heard by such men (e.g. "You're a really nice guy, but I'd rather we don't kiss.") An explanation for this reaction is that "nice guys" generally do not generate much sexual attraction or romantic desire in women. According to one school of thought, a woman mentally places such a man in her so-called friend zone, from which he may never come back. The point is that sexual attraction is not the same as interpersonal attraction.

The "nice guy" is typically a pleasant, intelligent male, lacking romantic success and with low or misguided romantic confidence. The man may be a very good listener, and perhaps articulate and expressive in how he talks. Such men are often frustrated, if not indignant, about their romantic trouble. Sometimes a female friend may enter into an intimate relationship with a chauvinistic or abusive male, leaving the Nice Guy feeling inadequate.

One theory, arguably, suggests that women are greatly swayed by confidence and independence in a potential mate, qualities which may supersede intelligence and good character. Clinginess or neediness are seen as highly undesirable, though these traits may foster security and loyalty later in an intimate relationship. Some anecdotal advice suggests that a "nice guy" can break out of the rut by making lifestyle changes which, paradoxically, develop a more outgoing, carefree, and independent personality, allowing him to be sized up more readily as a potential mate than a casual friend.

It should be pointed out that "nice guy syndrome" currently lacks credible psychological theories describing cause, effect and typical behavior, and its existence is even a point of debate. The concept of love-shyness has been explored in greater depth by psychologists, but is only tangentially related to this syndrome.

Several dating gurus have adopted this phenomenon into their dating techniques.

Support for the existence of the "Nice Guy" phenomenon?

In No More Mr. Nice Guy, Dr. Robert A. Glover describes the "Nice Guy Syndrome." Glover writes with a slightly masculist perspective from his experience as a therapist. He views the Nice Guy Syndrome as a problem to be cured. Unlike some self-described nice guys, he does not ascribe the supposed female rejection of "nice guys" to poor female taste. He believes "nice guys" to be troubled by depression, low self-esteem, internalized toxic shame, and confusion over gender roles, and that these issues make "nice guys" less attractive to women.

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